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Crying at School

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 6.

By Andrew McChesney


our-year-old Jorge started crying when Mother dropped him off at preschool on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

“WAHHHH!” Jorge wailed.

Mother couldn’t understand why her little boy was crying. This was not Jorge’s first day of preschool. He had started going to the preschool a few days earlier, and he had not cried. But now he opened his little mouth and bawled.

“WAHHHH!” Jorge cried.

He made it clear that he didn’t like the preschool.

Back at home, Mother didn’t know what to do. Father didn’t know what to do. Grandmother didn’t know what to do.

A few days later, Mother and Father traveled to Funchal, the biggest city on the island, to carry out some errands. Jorge went with them. As the family went about their business, Mother noticed a neat school surrounded by a fence with a metal gate.

“Look,” Mother said to Father. “Let’s see if they will accept Jorge.”

Mother and Father and Jorge walked through the open gate. The moment that Jorge stepped into the school grounds, he exclaimed, “I like this school!”

Then he saw other children playing on a playground. “I don’t want to go to the other school,” he said.

He looked up at Mother and Father with great determination on his tiny face. Stamping his feet on the ground, he yelled, “I don’t want to go to the other school!”

A teacher came out of the school building, and Mother told her about the preschool that Jorge didn’t like.

“Jorge could go to this school,” Teacher said.

Teacher introduced the family to the school chaplain, Antonio.

Chaplain Antonio was a very kind man. He said the school belonged to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He took the family on a tour. He showed them the cafeteria where children ate vegetarian food. He showed them classrooms. On a classroom wall, Mother saw children’s drawings from the life of Jesus. Immediately, she knew that this was the right school for Jorge.

Jorge jumped for joy when he learned that he could go to the Adventist school!

From the first day, he loved going to the school. Never did he cry or throw a tantrum.

After a while, Mother learned that a church met on the second floor of the school. She was curious, and Jorge’s teacher invited her to come to prayer meeting on Wednesday evening. Mother went with Jorge and loved it! She and Jorge returned the next Wednesday and the next. Then Father started to go to the prayer meetings.

After a while, Mother and Father gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized. Then Jorge’s grandmother gave her heart to Jesus and was baptized. When Jorge was 12, he also gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized. Today, he plays the piano, guitar, and ukulele in church on Sabbath.

To this day, Mother doesn’t understand why Jorge cried at the first preschool but was happy at the Adventist school. Father doesn’t understand why Jorge cried at the preschool and was happy at the Adventist school. Grandmother doesn’t understand, either. Not even Jorge understands what happened. But one thing is clear: because Jorge went to the Adventist school, his life and the life of his family changed completely. “I’m very happy to be an Adventist,” Jorge says.

This quarter, your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a new Seventh-day Adventist elementary school in Setubal, Portugal, so other children’s lives can be changed by the power of God. Thank you for planning a generous offering.